March 16, 2010

New HD set-top box and new channels make HD more accessible with Virgin Media

Another day, another Virgin press release on HD: 
Virgin Media , the UK's leading digital entertainment company, is to make HD TV more affordable by ensuring customers do not need to pay extra for stunning High Definition. So far this year Virgin Media has announced the addition of six new HD channels with more to come. Consumers will soon be able to make the most of this growing line-up with a new HD set-top box - the V HD Box - which will be available for no additional monthly subscription fee.
New and existing TV customers can get the new V HD Box from March 22nd for a one-off cost of just £49 plus installation*. There are no extra on-going subscription fees.
Virgin Media has already revealed that HD channels from ITV, Eurosport, Discovery, SCI FI, E4 and Film4 will all be added to its TV service later this year. HD channels from the BBC and Channel 4 are currently available to all Virgin TV customers. Subscribers to Virgin Media's 'XL' TV package can also watch Premier League football and more top sport on ESPN HD, become captivated by compelling documentaries on National Geographic HD and be entertained by FX HD, MTV Networks HD and LIVING HD (a Virgin Media exclusive).
This increasing range of HD channels is also complemented by an extensive on demand library with thousands of hours of programmes, including hundreds in spectacular HD. Recent blockbusters such as Inglourious Basterds, Star Trek or The Hurt Locker, as well as films exclusive to Virgin TV such as Ché, are available alongside TV hit series including True Blood and Carnivàle, all in HD and ready to start at the press of a button.
The Cisco-made box is 3D-ready and includes HDMI, SCART, USB and Ethernet ports to make the most of any digital home cinema experience. Featuring a best-in-class power saving function which dramatically cuts power usage by approximately 95% compared to stand-by mode, the V HD Box can also help minimise customers' electricity bills.
The V HD Box adds to Virgin Media's existing choice of the V Box, for basic digital TV, and the V+ HD Box which incorporates HD capability with a Personal Video Recorder. Virgin Media retains ownership of its set-top boxes so customers do not need to pay for warranties and, should anything go wrong, do not face expensive call-out charges or replacement or repair fees.
Virgin Media's executive director of digital entertainment, Cindy Rose, said: "We want to make the best High Definition TV available to more people at affordable prices and without the additional monthly subscription fee. If you really love telly you'll probably want our V+HD box because then you can then record programmes on up to two channels while simultaneously watching another. Our new V HD Box is ideal for anyone who wants to experience the power of HD without the extra monthly fee. We think our superb range of TV content gives our customers a real choice and makes Virgin Media the best value TV offering available."
Customers can pre-register for the V HD Box and find out more about Virgin Media's HD products and services at:


Big Red said...

Unless I'm reading this wrong why would you want to pay £49 + £35 for a HD box that does not record.

"The V HD Box adds to Virgin Media's existing choice of the V Box" meaning its a standard box but access to HD content.

Sky have set there Sky+HD box as standard for all new customer and free to current customers.
They get the option to add HD for £10 per month.

So if anyone was thinking of spending £84 for a box which does not record - either upgrade to VIP/V+HD box or wait for the new TiVo boxes come end of this year.

You can also pick up V+HD boxes cheap on ebay

What a shame

LewishamLovely said...

it does seem like a bit of a mis-step to me.
why not just drop the V box completely and make this the new one standard? or better still, make the V+ the standard box? surely that's where the market is heading anyway now sky has done it.
i guess it's good for a second box upstairs etc, but surely once tivo arrives the idea of tivo's already existing home networking technology will overtake the current thinking on having a second standalone boxes anyway?
i'd much rather have a V+ downstairs that can send stuff i've recorded to other rooms, as i'm sure most people would. it would be a real killer addition to virgin.

kgollop said...

This is perfect for my needs. I'm a VIP customer and want one to replace my standard V box on the 2nd TV. What I don't want is any extra monthly costs.

Erich said...

And with no harddrive, it will be completely quiet. Remember the days of quiet set top boxes?

kgollop said...

Quiet, and hopefully will not light up the whole room when in standby like the SA V+!

lee said...

I'd like this as a second box for my bedroom, as I have a DVD PVR in there which I can slave, and use to record things (not in HD though, I guess?)

Problem is, I'd still have to pay the extorniate £150 for a second box, I spose?

Square eyes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Barker said...

Just called Virgin who advised me the cost for an existing customer is £110, despite the fact I have only been a customer for a few days, this does seem a bit steep. I have the V+ HD box on the main TV and it would have been nice to have either a V HD box or another V+ HD box in the bedroom (though the V+ HD would have costed £150)

Think as someone stated earlier in this thread, that I will wait for the Tivo stuff to come out.